Diarra returns to France at PSG

Paris Saint-Germain have signed Lassana Diarra on a free transfer in a bid to solve their defensive midfield problem, with Thiago Motta on the sidelines.

Motta suffered a calf injury earlier this month to leave the Ligue 1 leaders short of options in the engine room, although PSG head coach Unai Emery stated that Giovani Lo Celso could fill in for the 34-year-old midfielder.

However, the French giants decided to make a move for Diarra, who was a free agent after leaving Al Jazira last month and has signed an 18th-month contract with his hometown club.

The 32-year-old has a wealth of experience having turned out for Chelsea, Arsenal and Real Madrid earlier in his career, while he last played in France for Marseille from 2015 to 2017.

"I am very happy to have signed for my hometown club," he told the club's official website. "Paris Saint-Germain represents a lot to me and, with the international dimension the club has taken in recent seasons, it is every player's dream to play here.

"I am lucky enough to make this dream come true, to know what it feels like to play at the Parc des Princes wearing the Rouge et Bleu.

"I intend to do everything I can, bring all my experience and show all my desire to play, to prove that the club has made the right choice in showing its confidence in me."

Les Parisiens chairman Nasser Al-Khelaifi added: "We are delighted to welcome Lassana Diarra, a quality footballer, to Paris Saint-Germain.

"His vast experience, both of foreign leagues and the international football with the France national team, gives our coaching staff another option as we enter a very exciting second half of the season."

"I know that Lassana is very ambitious, like everyone here. Our fans at the Parc des Princes really love players that hail from the Paris region. I know they will give him a warm welcome and the strength to help our team reach its objectives."